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Truth, Reason, and Faith in Modern Civilisation: The violence of truth and the truth of violence in modern ‘secular’ Western civilisation

Johann-Albrecht Meylahn

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 33, No 1 (2012), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v33i1.712

Submitted: 24 January 2012
Published:  09 July 2012

Abstract

What is truth? What is reason? What is faith? These questions have been hotly debated and have been the cause of violence prior to the rise of the modern and so-called secular state. The rise of the modern ‘secular’ state was founded on the distinction between reason and faith thus bringing to an end the religious violence which was inspired by their respective truths. The concept of truth will be questioned, thus questioning the ‘truth’ that reason and faith can be neatly separated from each other and consequently that the secular and religious can be separated into neat categories. There is an inherent violence (political, religious and linguistic) in the Truth(s), be it the truths of either religion or secular reason, namely the originary linguistic violence of truth. This article will ask the question: How can one speak of truth, reason and faith in a modern civilisation and seek ways beyond the violence of truths towards interdisciplinary open dialogue of a democracy still to come?

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Author affiliations

Johann-Albrecht Meylahn, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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